Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Pets & Pet Care  > Raising Chickens

Raising Chickens Cost


How Much Does Raising Chickens Cost?

 
low costDay-Old Chicks: $5-$10 for Threeaverage costPullets (Laying Hens): $15-$25 Eachhigh costChicken Coop: $115-$1,750+
post E-mail post Post  

With the rise of the local food movement, many families have taken to raising chickens in small coops in their backyards or even on patios. Usually the chickens take on a hybrid role as both pet and food provider, as most female chickens (hens) lay eggs several times a week.

Typical costs:

  • Most hobby chicken owners buy day-old chicks, which cost from about $5 to $10 for three. Ready-to-lay chickens, called pullets, cost about $15 to $25 each. MyPetChicken.com[1] lists farms and hatcheries that sell chickens.
  • A HenSpa coop with a heated water bucket, three nests, two roosts, a light (and its timer) and a sunroof costs $1,750 at ShoptheCoop.com.
  • The Eglu[2] is a small plastic coop that fits two chickens and is popular in urban areas. It's sold by Omlet for $500.
  • Other readymade options include a simple coop for about $300 or a coop with netting on wheels that holds six chickens and costs $1,399.
  • Building plans for Do-It-Yourself coops can be purchased at BackyardChickens.com[3] for between $15 and $50; Do It Yourself coops can be built for anywhere from $100 to $1,000 depending on the materials and size.
Related articles: Rabbit, Horse, Fence

What should be included:
  • Chicken husbandry is a bit more complicated than keeping a dog or cat as a pet. Aside from feeding and watering, you'll need to collect the eggs each morning and clean the coop about once a month. MyPetChicken.com provides a how-to guide[4] .
  • The backyard chicken coop typically contains three to ten chickens, usually all female but sometimes with one male, a rooster. The coop ranges in size, but is rarely larger than a tall hatchback vehicle. Look for a portable model, as chickens like to graze in the open field. If the coop is on wheels, it can be moved to different sections of the backyard.
  • Other considerations when purchasing a coop include the number of chickens, ease of cleanup, materials used, sturdiness and portability. The coop should include nesting spots for the chickens to lay eggs and roosting spots for them to sleep.
  • Considerations when choosing chickens include their temperament and egg output. Many hobbyist chicken keepers choose Bantams, a smaller version of the Standard size chicken. Most Bantam breeds are friendly and productive, meaning they provide an egg daily. Especially productive breeds include the Leghorn; popular ornamental chickens include the Silky. Ornamental chickens typically produce about three eggs a week. Read more about breed types at ChickenCrossing.org[5]
Additional costs:
  • Day-old chicks need to be kept in a "brooder" box with a heat lamp and thermometer to keep them warm until their feathers have fully grown in. Brooder boxes can be as simple as a rubber tote purchased from any department store for about $15, a heat lamp costs about $35; and a thermometer can be bought for about $5.
  • Feeders and waterers range in price from about $10 to $30.
  • In colder climates the chickens' nesting area and food must be kept warm. A nesting box heater costs $50; food and water heaters cost between $20 and $50.
  • Chicken feed costs $50 for a 50-pound bag. Plan on five chicks going through about a half a pound of starter feed per day so one bag should last about two and a half months. Five grown chickens go through about a bag a month.
  • Instead of buying chicks, consider buying fertilized eggs to hatch. An incubator is needed for this. Incubators cost about $110 with an egg turner.
Shopping for raising chickens:
  • Check local laws to be sure that keeping chickens is allowed, and to apply for a permit if needed. In some areas, chickens are allowed but are not permitted to roam free; in others, chickens are not allowed at all.
  • Most cities have a noise ordinance to take into consideration. Roosters are much noisier than hens; most hens primarily make noise in the morning when they're laying eggs.
  • Urbanchickens.org answers frequently asked questions regarding urban chicken raising.
  • Although there have been no cases of humans contracting bird flu from backyard chickens, be cautious when handling chickens. Visit Flu.gov for more details.
post E-mail post Post  
CostHelper News


Forgotten Expenses In a Home Addition Budget
Items like construction costs, permit fees or debris removal aren't the only expenses to consider when calculating the total costs of a home remodeling project. || Posted August 5 2013


7 Ways to Stretch Your Reduced Food Budget
End of the year budgets are tight for everyone, especially in this economy.It's especially hard for the millions of Americans who depend on government programs like food stamps to help make ends meet. || Posted November 11 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments


 

Comment On Your Experience With Raising Chickens
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  *
Number of Chickens: Type of Chickens: 
Type of Coop:   
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  www.mypetchicken.com/about-chickens/farms-and-hatcheries.aspx
  2.  www.omlet.us/products_services/products_services.php?view=Chickens&about=pricing
  3.  www.backyardchickens.com/atype/2/Coops
  4.  www.mypetchicken.com/backyard-chickens/chicken-care/guide-toc.aspx
  5.  www.chickencrossing.org/basics.php
More Pets & Pet Care Topics
Check Out All Costs for Pets & Pet Care How Much Does a Rabbit Cost? How Much Does Dog Vaccination Cost? How Much Does Dog Grooming Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com




Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
Annual termite renewal
Paid: 313.93
A local company treated our 1948 era house for termites many years ago and we had an annual contract with them that transferred to Terminix when they bought the local company... [more]
-monicafaye
Termite Control Cost
OB Ultrasound Indiana University Health
Paid: 3699.00
I tested low on my biochemicals when I had a quad screen, which I think was taken a little too early anyway... [more]
-One Angry Momma
Ultrasound Cost
1st fill
Paid: 1.90
Just did a 400 gal fill at $1.899 which I didn't think was too bad considering some of the other prices I've heard about. This is my first house that has used propane and I am real nervous about costs... [more]
-Bluespicker
Propane Cost
Replace system with TRane XR13 coil and condensor
Paid: 6330.00
Replaced 15 year old 4ton system and gas/airflow condensor, whole system less duct work, new pans... [more]
-
Central Air Conditioner Cost
Filling
Paid: 75.00
Had to have 3 pin hole cavities filled. Two on top and one on the bottom.Total cost was $325, but after paying my deductible of $75, my dental insurance (BCBS of Texas Blue Care Dental) took care of the remaining balance of $250... [more]
-Morgan Davies
Cavity Filling Cost
Declawing
Paid: 160.00
All of our cats have been altered with sterilization. The latest cost $160. What I didn't know until too late was the adverse long-term effects ( endocrine complications) of sterilization... [more]
-AGracious
Cat Declawing Cost